Meet Your Neighbor: Open Books In West Loop

One of the many advantages of working in the nonprofit field -(and being a Chicago Now blogger)  is that I get the opportunity to attend some really great events and visit some really cool places. Thanks to an invitation via a Facebook group, I had the opportunity to visit Open Books, a social venture dedicated to funding literacy through used book sales, at its new location at 651 West Lake. (Special thanks to Public Good Software for their help in sponsoring/running the Open House I attended)

What’s really impressive about the new facility is not the increased space, or Open Books’ dedication to promoting literacy programs throughout the Chicago area. It’s what you’ll find on the second floor.

On the floor above Open Books is Literacenter, which is a very smart concept. Think of it as a coworking space for literacy organizations: there are dedicated conference rooms, open areas for freelancers, and even larger spaces for select organizations. With coworking spaces focused on social change like Panzanzee and Blue 1657), Chicago is taking stronger steps in driving & economic development in Chicago while providing support and resources for social change organizations in networking, collaborating, and building their own internal capacity.

Although there’s a small photo gallery for your review, don’t take my word for it – give Open Books a visit. In fact, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I will be part of a Sherlock 101 panel sponsored by Chicago Nerd Social Club. (NOTE: I’m on the CNSC Board). For more details, check out the CNSC Calendar or Facebook.

Open Books does a great job of promoting literacy, and has an excellent selection of used books. Its new facility at 651 W. Lake is large, spacious, and most importantly, builds upon their current mission. It’s worth a visit, and they’re neighbors worth knowing.

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